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Radical Humanists Martyred in Bangladesh Genocide

Radical Humanists are revolutionaries. This fact is realized and recognized early by the opponents of love of freedom than those who actually are in need of the message of liberation. While the Pakistani army occupied Bangladesh and carried out a systematic annihilation of intellectuals as part of the genocide, they did not forget to locate Radical Humanist activists in Bangladesh. The following part is taken from a volume published as commemoration of M.N.Roy’s birth centenary. In the article, ‘M.N.Roy’s Influence on Bengali Muslims’, Dr. Tajul Hossain, ‘ surgeon and physician who held high responsible positions in the Bangladesh republic’ recounts the efforts of early Radical Humanists in spreading the philosophy of Radical Humanism. We are also told about the martyrdom of two valiant Radicals: Habibur Rahman and Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurata. We express our indebtedness to Indian Renaissance Institute for the commemoration volume. The relevant part is presented without any changes under quotation marks:
“Roy visited Dacca early in 1948 accompanied by Professor Sibnarayan Ray. Maulana Akram Khan was invited to preside over a meeting of Roy but he declined. Muslim students in Salimullah hall were much interested in listening to Roy on Islam and they invited him. Some personal friends of Roy in the cadre of the former ICS gave him a reception in the Dacca Club. Radicals who migrated from Calcutta formed a new base in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and gradually developed social roots there. Many enthusiastic University and College teachers showed a growing interest in the philosophy of New Humanism and joined many group discussions.
Following the summer camp of May, 1948, K.K. Sinha, Jyotirindra Mohan Sarker and I went to Dacca to arrange a study camp there, with the help of Jyotirmoy Guha Thakurata, Habibur Rahman and others. About 20 participants discussed New Humanism for 5 days. One public meeting was arranged with a good audience which was addressed by Sinha and me.
A programme was drawn for Jyotirmoy and Habibur Rahman to visit some of the district towns like Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Comillah, Sylhet and Chittagong. Individual radicals like Nuruzzaman in Rajashahi, Roonu Choudhury in Mymensingh, Shyamadhan Sengupta in Sylhet, and Anil Roy in Chittagong arranged meetings in Public Halls and Bar Libraries where the principles of New Humanism were explained. Some individuals established discussion centres in different places. Habibur Rahman made the former RDP office at Dacca his residence and he conducted there regular evening and weekly discussion meetings for over 10 years before he was transferred to Rajshahi University. Here, he was killed on March 27, 1971 by the Pakistani Army. He made an enormous contribution to the spread of radical humanism amongst his colleagues and students, in Dacca and Rajshahi.
Salahuddin initiated the establishment of a Friends’ Centre at Dacca with the cooperation of some Quaker social workers from Britain. At a later date, Jyotirmoy became its very vital participant and remained so for more than 10 years besides carrying on his activities in the University and the Humanist forum. He was also killed on March 27, 1971 in his University residence by the Pakistani Army. But he left behind an abiding influence on the Dacca elite circle by virtue of his personality which combined truthfulness, goodness and deep interest in art and literature.”
Pages 98,99;
For A Revolution From Below – An M.N.Roy Commemorative Volume,
Edited by
Sibnarayan Ray;
Published on behalf of the
Indian Renaissance Institute
By Minerva Associates (Publications)Pvt. Ltd.,
Calcutta, 700 029.
First Published: March 1989.

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